Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben is founder of 350.org and Schumann Distinguished Professor at Middlebury College in Vermont. He was recently honored with the Gandhi Peace Award for his work coordinating the civil disobedience actions around the Keystone XL pipeline in June 2011. He serves on Grist's Board of Directors.

Fossil Fuels

Carbon President: Why does Obama keep OK’ing big fossil-fuel projects?

The future’s looking hot.Photo: The White HouseThis essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom’s kind permission. In our globalized world, old-fashioned geography is not supposed to count for much: mountain ranges, deep-water ports, railroad grades — those seem so 19th century. The Earth is flat, or so I remember somebody saying. But those nostalgic for an earlier day, take heart. The Obama administration is making its biggest decisions yet on our energy future and those decisions are intimately tied to this continent’s geography. Remember those old maps from your high-school textbooks that showed each state …

Climate Change

350.org and 1Sky merge into one mass climate movement

Let’s get together — yeah, yeah, yeah.We environmentalists hear this periodically from friends and family and other concerned citizens: “I wish there weren’t so many groups. It’s confusing. I don’t know who to volunteer for. Wouldn’t it work better if you all got together?” This isn’t quite as obvious as it sounds. Different groups have sprung up at different times to fill different niches. You wouldn’t look out at a marsh and say, “It would be much nicer if there were just one kind of frog to keep track of.” Diversity has some very real purposes. But there are moments …

The Pepsi to their Koch

Why doesn’t Congress give a damn about climate? Hint: it’s not the messaging

The Greenpeace airship spreads the word.Photo: Gus Ruelas/GreenpeaceAmong other truths made completely clear by the showdown in Wisconsin: the outsized role of the Koch brothers in American politics. Charles and David, the third and fourth richest men in America, first gained notoriety this past fall, when a remarkable exposé by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker showed how they’d funded not only the Tea Party but also the hydra-headed campaign to undermine the science of global warming, all in the service of even more profit for their oil and gas business. But it was in Wisconsin that the down-and-dirty details …

Tim and vigor

We need big, brash, nonviolent climate protests. Are you in?

It’s time to get loud.Dear friends, Last week, a jury in Utah found Tim DeChristopher guilty for standing up to the oil and gas companies in an effort to protect our health and our climate. If the federal government thinks that it’s intimidating people into silence with this kind of prosecution, think again. This is precisely the sort of event that reminds us why we need creative, nonviolent protests and mass mobilizations. Over the last six months, we’ve witnessed big changes in the world that call out for creative, nonviolent protest, including: The wild and extreme weather and flooding that …

Tim for a change

As climate crime continues, who are we sending to jail? Tim DeChristopher?

They’ve got the wrong guy.Photo by Cliff LyonLet’s consider for a moment the targets the federal government chooses to make an example of. So far, no bankers have been charged, despite the unmitigated greed that nearly brought the world economy down. No coal or oil execs have been charged, despite fouling the entire atmosphere and putting civilization as we know it at risk.  But engage in creative protest that mildly disrupts the efficient sell-off of our landscape to oil and gas barons? As Tim DeChristopher found out on Thursday, that’ll get you not just a week in court, but potentially …

Seeing red

Glenn Beck says 350.org is part of a communist plot

Say this for Glenn Beck: He works fast. Less than 48 hours after we at 350.org launched our campaign to let businesses say that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t represent them, Beck hit back. A true friend of Chamber (here’s a picture of him broadcasting from the group’s roof — certainly worth the $10,000 he donated from his $32 million annual earnings), he put little old 350.org up on his notorious board Friday night next to a hammer and sickle. We were part of a communistic conspiracy that also included the Apollo Alliance and the Service Employees International Union. In some …

Money Pollution

The Chamber of Commerce is darkening our skies

It’s always darkest before it goes pitch black.Photo: Twig is the FutureThis essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom’s kind permission. In Beijing, they celebrate when they have a “blue sky day,” when, that is, the haze clears long enough so that you can actually see the sun.  Many days, you can’t even make out the next block. Washington, by contrast, looks pretty clean: white marble monuments; broad, tree-lined avenues; the beautiful, green spread of the Mall. But its inhabitants — at least those who vote in Congress — can’t see any more clearly than …

Giving the coal shoulder

Behind the scenes in the big fight against coal

Down with coal!The climate fight hasn’t been going well lately. The Copenhagen conference in Dec. 2009 seemed to mark the effective end of international efforts to control carbon. The U.S. Senate couldn’t even bring itself to vote on cap-and-trade last summer. In November, a GOP committed to climate denial won new strength in the Congress. Right now, the House is busy trying to strip the EPA of the right to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Oh, and 2010 was the warmest year on record. But there is one fight that’s gone very much the right way, and it holds lessons for …

wishful sphinxing

Climate hawks can draw inspiration from the Egyptians

Now they’ve got another reason to cheer.Photo: 350.org We rejoice with our brothers and sisters in Egypt at the news that Hosni Mubarak has resigned. Egypt has been a big part of the 350 movement from the very first video we ever did, which showed the 350 pennant floating from the pyramids. But we rejoice even more at the example they set for the rest of the world, and implicitly for those of us engaged in the climate fight. A real people’s movement — a massive, broad-based, honest movement that doesn’t focus on elites, but instead on the whole population …

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